Team Alpha Male fighter Josh Emmett has been close to landing in the UFC several times, but it always seems like the odds just don't end up in his favor.
At 9-0 with five finishes on his record, Emmett certainly has the résumé to justify a look from UFC matchmakers out to add another lightweight prospect to the roster.
As a former wrestler from Silicon Valley's Menlo College -- the same program responsible for his teammate Danny Castillo as well as former strawweight champ Carla Esparza -- Emmett has the athletic pedigree to catch your eye.
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Yet somehow Emmett has been stuck on the outside looking in while waiting for the call from the UFC.
"I almost got into the UFC when I was 5-0 and TJ Dillashaw was going to fight (Renan) Barao in Sacramento. Urijah (Faber) was on a conference call with Joe Silva and they were pretty sure they were going to go with me against Chris Wade, but then they went with someone else who was 6-0 and he got submitted in a matter of seconds," Emmett told FOX Sports recently.
Emmett said he didn't take the UFC opting for a different fighter as a slight; instead it motivated him to push that much harder to land on their radar.
He won two more bouts before trying out for the most recent season of "The Ultimate Fighter" with his friend Faber serving as one of the coaches. It also was a lightweight cast being selected, so Emmett thought he'd be a lock to land a spot on the show.
Emmett made it to one of the final rounds of casting, however, he got the call that he wasn't going to make the show. It was heartbreaking news, but it got even worse when Emmett found out who did make the cast.
"I went and fought this guy Brandon Ricetti and beat him in devastating fashion and then I tried out for 'The Ultimate Fighter' and I made it down to the top 50, and I was sure I was making it for sure, but for whatever reasons the producers ended up picking that guy Ricetti, and his last loss was to me so I was an alternate," Emmett explained.
Faber ultimately brought Emmett on as an assistant coach for a few weeks, but even that was depressing to Emmett because he felt deep down that he should have been competing, not just helping the other fighters get ready.
"I could have won the show," Emmett said with confidence.
Faber sings Emmett's praises, not only because he's one of the best unsigned fighters at his gym, but also because Faber believes the 9-0 prospect could be a champion in the UFC one day.
"Josh Emmett is one of Team Alpha Male's unsung heroes," Faber said. "He is humble and soft spoken but a warrior in the cage. His talent is top in the world and he can compete right now in the UFC and be a title contender."
Since "The Ultimate Fighter" ended, Emmett's mission to land with the UFC has moved forward. He defeated Rocky Johnson, a veteran competitor who holds a win over former UFC champion Benson Henderson. Emmett also recently blasted through former UFC fighter Christos Giagos, handing him the first knockout loss of his career.
Now Emmett waits for a call to land with the UFC. Whether it's short notice or no notice, Emmett just wants his chance and he promises to live up to the standards set by his Team Alpha Male training partners, who already fight in the UFC.
Emmett has emulated many of the top fighters in the UFC as a sparring partner for Faber and Chad Mendes, and now he just wants to join them as part of the same roster.
"I was around for Danny Castillo as his main training partner when he got ready for Joe Stevenson. I was with Chad Mendes, I was his main training partner when he fought Rani Yahya and for the Jose Aldo fight. For Urijah, I was trying to emulate Frankie Edgar's style. So I've been there and to be right in the mix the entire time," Emmett said.
"I truly believe that and I think I'll do really well. I've competed with the best guys in the world around my weight class since 2010. I've been a main sparring partner for them as they get ready for championship fights. Everyone is so surprised why I'm not in. I do believe I can go in there and compete with anyone in the world. I just need my shot so I can show everybody."